June 12, 2014

"Iraq was on the brink of disintegration Thursday..."

"... as al-Qaeda-inspired fighters swept through northern Iraq toward Baghdad and Kurdish soldiers seized the city of Kirkuk without a fight...."
In Washington, President Obama expressed concern....

60 comments:

mccullough said...

Maybe it's not too late for the Kurds to get their own soccer team into the World Cup.

TML said...

"Concern"

Wow.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

Obama is implementing the foreign policy he promised, retrenchment and retreat. Obama will do nothing to stop the radical Islamist take over of Iraq.

Original Mike said...

My, God. What a waste. This idiot was handed a stable Iraq and through his naïveté and arrogance he threw it all away.

Hagar said...

It does look like the "Arab Spring" has well and truly sprung, and yes, I think "Benghazi" has a connection to this.

jr565 said...

Let's go back a few years just to remember what Obama and his cohorts were saying:
“If you look [Mitt Romney’s] record . . . he has opposed ending the war in Iraq, unlike the president’s position and president’s record on that, saying that he would have kept as many 30,000 troops there indefinitely. He’s had an incoherent record and vision on al-Qaeda.” Jen Psaki, October 1 2012

“What I would not have done is left 10,000 troops in Iraq [as Candidate Romney proposed], that would tie us down. That certainly would not help us in the Middle East.” — President Obama, October 22, 2012

Why oh why did this guy get reelected? how is it possible that democrats are this stupid?

30,000 troops or even 10,000 troops. Would Al Qaeda and its affiliated be so bold as to attack cities? I think not. And if they did, who better to deal with them than our troops.

The Drill SGT said...

Iraq burns. President Obama votes 'present'

Seriously, there are only three serious military forces left in the country:

1. The Peshmerga (aka the Kurd National Guard). Note the article talking about protecting the Christian Village. The Kurds are fine with the Turkoman, the Christians, and the Bahai. Arabs? not so much.
2. The ISIL
3. Quds Force (e.g. Iranians). That is who fought in Tikrit today against the ISIL.

The Iraqi Army no longer exists as a force in Iraq. It's morale has been shattered.

Skipper said...

Hurry up and hashtag 'em, for gods' sake.

YoungHegelian said...

So, what the hell happened to the Iraqi Army & other security forces that we spent so much money & time training? They just faded away in the face of a numerically far inferior foe.

Luuuucy! You got some 'splainin to do!

I remember a report from Iraqi Kurdistan during the second invasion when, after some Iraqi Arab soldiers are being put on a truck to be sent home, a young Kurdish man pulls the reporter over & tells him, in probably what little English he knew, "Arabs, no good.".

n.n said...

Premature evacuation. It's a wonder that anyone still trusts Americans.

garage mahal said...

This idiot was handed a stable Iraq and through his naïveté and arrogance he threw it all away.

Bush signed SOFA in 2008 that dictated our troop withdrawal.

Or did you mean Bush was handed a stable Iraq and fucked it all up wasting trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives?

David said...

The article describes ISIS as "Al-Quieda inspired militants." I think they are more than that. Those interested might want to read the very comprehensive Wikipedia article about ISIS. There, a experienced US intelligence official describes them as a well trained and well equipped small army, which has good leadership, discipline and communications. The link to AQ was, according to the article, an act of convenience for ISIS.

ISIS has already made claims to be the legitimate government and ruler of much of the territory of Iraq. Yet the article also indicates that they are estimated to have only 2500 core fighters.

Small forces can do big things if the opposition is demoralized and unmotivated. This has been a good description of the Iraq military for some time now. It remains to be seen just how much power ISIS can leverage, but it's clear that the Iraq government and military are ripe for the picking by someone.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Peace is not the absence of conflict. It is the absence of THREAT.

We all can remain so caught up in the quotidien and trivial (June is LGBT month or something); the local (why did Lawrence, KS tear up and close all its major thoroughfares at the same time?); and the personal (how am I going to control all these weeds in my fields if it doesn't stop raining?) that it's easy to miss or ignore things of global and historic importance when they unfold. Things that if unaddressed and un-planned-for in our own lives can result in even greater distortion and pain.

Our world in the last few days has taken several giant steps towards an immense crisis that will almost certainly involve a degree of warfare unknown in our lifetimes. Five years of foreign policy weakness and cluelessness is beginning to unravel to its almost unavoidable conclusion; just as in the late 1930s weakness and cluelessness on the part of France, Britain, the US and China gave rise to a series of events which could not be stopped in time to prevent the horrors of World War II.

The United States has chosen to focus on what was always a side-show (Afghanistan) and abandon Iraq. With al-Qaeda capture of Mosul, Tikrit, and (soon) Baghdad itself things are moving very fast, America did not "lose" Iraq. It was given away, and we shall pay an immense price for that astounding error.

Iraq and Saudi have always been the islamist centre of gravity on the Sunni side. Iran on the Shi'a side. They are fighting an intense religious civil war, but they both hate anything and everything in the non-islamist world. Both will attack us ferociously -- if allowed -- in order to prove that they are more loyal islamists than their civil war opponents.

Al Qaeda have just gained control of billions of dollars worth of modern American weaponry. They will gain quite a lot more when we flee Afghanistan. The US has also decided in the name of "peace" not to stop Iran's efforts to become a nuclear power.

And you probably did not know that Iran has been very active in training Latin American terrorists, who over the last two years have moved into Mexico. So yeah, Mr. Obama, it's just a great time to throw open our border with Mexico to a flood of what you wish to call "refugees". Iran had you figured out from the very beginning.

The Middle East is only one item on the menu. Central Europe. Chinese meltdown and predictable aggression. Collapse of the French banking system. Unsustainable social spending in the US.

Now add wrenching disruptions to oil supply for Europe, Japan, China, and the US. What has just happened in Iraq almost guarantees it. The accumulated weight of this administration's errors is now quite simply too great to escape.

Are you ready? I'm not. I'm not even sure *how* to get ready for what's coming, and I've been thinking about such things for a long time. You can, however, assume that your life in five years will bear very little resemblance to what it is today. That is but one by-product of foreign policy fecklessness.

I suspect that when the history is written, June 2014 will be seen as the inflection point. Much as is September 1938.

David said...

Original Mike said...
My, God. What a waste. This idiot was handed a stable Iraq and through his naïveté and arrogance he threw it all away.


It wasn't even close to stable. In that sense you make the same mistake Obama did. The apparent stability was tenuous, and it would have taken active and engaged American help to make that stability self sustaining.

Even then it's quite possible that our efforts would have failed. This may have been Obama's underlying judgment. The likelihood of success was so low that the mission was not worth it.

If so he was really saying that decades of American blood and treasure were wasted. Not surprising that he would not come right out and say it, but that seems to have been his conclusion.

It's hard to know what the basis of his policy has been, since he has done so little to defend it.

David said...

n.n said...
Premature evacuation. It's a wonder that anyone still trusts Americans.


Who says anyone still trusts us?

Drago said...

garage: "Bush signed SOFA in 2008 that dictated our troop withdrawal."

What a frigging idiot you are.

The SOF agreement laid out a notional timeline for withdrawal that also listed conditional thresholds and a myriad of ways to extend troop presence if conditions on the ground warranted it.

Go back to your backwoods hovel you illiterate buffoon.

Rusty said...

garage mahal said...

Shhhh. The grownups are talking.

jr565 said...

Garage mahal wrote:
Or did you mean Bush was handed a stable Iraq and fucked it all up wasting trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives?

Iraq was stable? no you ignoramus. We were containing Iraq and containment was in free fall. Containment is not stability. You libs conveniently forget the entirety of Clinton's tenure when you construct your faux narrative.
We passed the Iraq Liberation Act in 1998 calling for regime change all before Bush set for on the scenes. And Clinton's last act vis Avis Iraq, other than withdrawing all inspectors was Operation desert Fox which was a bombing mission intending to degrade Iraqs WMD programs.
The only difference between clinton's assessment and Bush's was how to achieve regime change.
Bush achieved it and Clinton didn't. At great cost. He also the achieved a stable Iraq, provided that we maintain that stability. And Obama, purely for political reasons withdrew all troops with calamitous results. Own it.

Mark said...

The heartbreaking thing is that for some (and I'm definitely including Garage in this) the prospect of Iraq falling in exactly the same way the Saigon fell isn't a bug, it's a feature.

That's how it's supposed to work. America gets its comeuppance. The barbarians win. So angsty.

Never mind that the decline and fall happened on the watch of one of theirs. The narrative can be manipulated to make it Bush's fault.

If Garage had a time machine, he'd be rooting for the fall of Seoul too, at any point in the last 60 years.

Who cares how many killing fields are planted, as long as he gets his daily dose of vicarious (im)moral superiority?

jr565 said...

Drill sgt wrote:
3. Quds Force (e.g. Iranians). That is who fought in Tikrit today against the ISIL.

Iran sees fit to send in troops. We can't even see fit to do a drone strike. There is something wrong with this president.

Bobber Fleck said...

I read an interesting opinion yesterday where the writer said:

A functioning civil society is like an aquarium. Any idiot can make fish soup out of an aquarium. Nobody knows how to make an aquarium out of fish soup.

IOW, once a civil society has been destroyed, or simply disrupted enough, ceasing the attacks on it will not necessarily cause it to regenerate.

Frankly, I con’t think we know how to do what needs to be done, and perhaps the beginning of wisdom is the recognition of that ignorance.


It appears Obama has made "fish soup" from the Iraq aquarium.

jr565 said...

Drago wrote:
The SOF agreement laid out a notional timeline for withdrawal that also listed conditional thresholds and a myriad of ways to extend troop presence if conditions on the ground warranted it.

garage apparently doesn't remember the whole conversation had between libs and conservatives about how we shouldn't withdraw without preconditions. Bush wanted them and the dems were demanding withdrawing at a set date. I certainly remember this argument since I was having it with morons like Garage at the time endlessly. They honestly thought that it was wise to set withdrawal dates not based on facts on the ground but a deadline.
garage got his wish when he got his president.and now Iraq is FUBAR.

tim in vermont said...

"Bush signed SOFA in 2008 that dictated our troop withdrawal"

You might want to check your history on that one Garage.

And the other thing is, I always get the feeling when you get upset about the cost of something or other Bush did, it was because you felt like those dollars come out of your share of what the government would have given away to Democrat supporters rather than your share of what you would have paid in taxes.

Just a feeling.

Jason said...

Drago. Be gentle. Everyone knows Garage's understanding of anything of consequence is only talking-point-deep.

jr565 said...

David wrote:
Who says anyone still trusts us?

and should anyone trust us? At this point I'd trust Russia more than this administration.

SGT Ted said...

I feel kind of sick about this after what the guys I deployed with all went through over there.

Michael K said...

"It wasn't even close to stable. In that sense you make the same mistake Obama did. The apparent stability was tenuous, and it would have taken active and engaged American help to make that stability self sustaining."

General Jack Keane, who is a consultant to Fox News, said today that Maliki has been dismissing officers from the Iraqi army who are not "loyal" to him since our guys left. This is always the problem with Arab armies. The officers are always political and the competent ones are not promoted in favor of some idiot who pays the baksheesh.

He knew many of the officers dismissed. They were the ones we trained, probably many of them Sunni. All of Saddam's officers were Sunni.

Had we stayed, even 10,000, we would have stopped this. This is Obama's baby.

Robert Cook said...

"This idiot was handed a stable Iraq...."

Iraq was never stable after we invaded and destroyed it.


We left because the Status of Forces Agreement negotiated and signed by the Bush administration mandated a departure date for American troops. Obama wanted us to stay, but the Iraqis wouldn't agree to it unless American soldiers would be considered subject to the Iraqi justice system if they broke the law. We said "no," so the Iraqis said "go."

The problem is not that we left, but that we ever entered the country to begin with.

Jason said...

So does this mean POTUS will start attending his daily security briefs NOW?

Robert Cook said...

I see a gaggle of Yahoos are out in force this summer evening.

khesanh0802 said...

@ Drago:1907

I am afraid that Garage is technically correct about the SOFA. Bush signed an agreement that all troops would be out of country by 12/31/11. From everything I have been able to read there were no conditions regarding the tactical situation at the culmination of the agreement. There was an additional agreement that dealt with cultural and economic affairs plus military affairs, but did not include stationing of troops.

Common sense tells us that the Iraqis were not in a position to sustain their shaky democracy with out some "reserve" US military capability. It was here that Obama's unwillingness to overcome Iraqi objections/bluffs had the most impact. He wanted out and the SOFA gave him an easy way out.

It seems to me that the ME is an unnavigable morass. I still think that Bush was correct to move the battle front from NYC to Iraq/Afghanistan. I also think that in a perfect world we could have worked out a way to continue to support Iraq and developing Iraq's army with minimal combat forces. Perhaps the Iraqi situation is what I became convinced Viet Nam was: a civil war. The Kurds will certainly take care of themselves.

My biggest fear is that all this disintegration is ultimately threaten Israel. Then what do we do?

Jupiter said...

I don't see what everyone is so upset about. A bunch of made-up countries are falling apart, and a lot of really unpleasant people are killing each other. What's not to like? Let It Burn.

David said...

jr565 said...

. . . .

We passed the Iraq Liberation Act in 1998 . . .


Good reminder. Passed the House 360-38 and the Senate by unanimous consent. Signed by President Clinton. Made regime change in Iraq the announced policy of the United States.

LarsPorsena said...

General Jack Keane, who is a consultant to Fox News, said today that Maliki has been dismissing officers from the Iraqi army who are not "loyal" to him since our guys left. This is always the problem with Arab armies. The officers are always political and the competent ones are not promoted in favor of some idiot who pays the baksheesh.

---------------------------------

This is not a problem for the ISIL. Why so?

David said...

Following up on JR535, let's play "Guess The President."

Over the past few months, as [the weapons inspectors] have come closer and closer to rooting out Iraq's remaining nuclear capacity, Saddam has undertaken yet another gambit to thwart their ambitions by imposing debilitating conditions on the inspectors and declaring key sites which have still not been inspected off limits....

It is obvious that there is an attempt here, based on the whole history of this operation since 1991, to protect whatever remains of his capacity to produce weapons of mass destruction, the missiles to deliver them, and the feed stocks necessary to produce them. The UNSCOM inspectors believe that Iraq still has stockpiles of chemical and biological munitions, a small force of Scud-type missiles, and the capacity to restart quickly its production program and build many, many more weapons....

Now, let's imagine the future. What if he fails to comply and we fail to act, or we take some ambiguous third route, which gives him yet more opportunities to develop this program of weapons of mass destruction and continue to press for the release of the sanctions and continue to ignore the solemn commitments that he made? Well, he will conclude that the international community has lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. And some day, some way, I guarantee you he'll use the arsenal....


Obama? Bush? Clinton? Reagan?

St. George said...

The Mosul Dam

Ever heard of it?

Nope?

In Iraq, near the Turkish border. 100 yards high. Holds back 12.5 billion cubic meters of water.

It's in terrible shape. Has been for years.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the collapse of the dam will kill 500,000 thousand people.

Five hundred thousand.

"In terms of internal erosion potential of the foundation, Mosul Dam is the most dangerous dam in the world," the Army Corps concluded in September 2006, according to the report to be released Tuesday. "If a small problem [at] Mosul Dam occurs, failure is likely."

What could possibly go wrong!

Anonymous said...

"Obama wanted us to stay, but the Iraqis wouldn't agree to it"

This is why Obama is such a shitty President.

He isn't able to convince anyone of anything. And it's never his fault. The Republicans? It's all there fault that his agenda isn't been passed through the House and Senate. It has nothing to do with his terrible negotiating skills. The Olympics? Sorry, I tried. Keeping troops in Iraq? I question he really wanted this one, given the fact that he campaigned against it, but again, not his fault?

Nothing is this man's fault. Not the IRS abusing it's power, not the VA, not Benghazi.

The only thing that is his fault is we killed Osama. Right?

What a horrible mistake. It's going to take the United States and the world many years to recover from this idiots presidency.

Terry said...

Obama wanted us to stay, but the Iraqis wouldn't agree to it unless American soldiers would be considered subject to the Iraqi justice system if they broke the law.
This is a lie.

Birkel said...

Robert Cook has abused the truth again.
News at eleven.

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger Robert Cook said...
I see a gaggle of Yahoos are out in force this summer evening.

6/12/14, 7:57 PM
____________________________

I see the resident dhimmi is riding herd on the Yahoos.

tim in vermont said...

"I see a gaggle of Yahoos are out in force this summer evening."

Just commenting on the results of the Obama magical thinking foreign policy.

Terry said...

Tim in Vermont wrote:
Just commenting on the results of the Obama magical thinking foreign policy.
Wouldn't magical thinking involve "winning" at some point?

Drago said...

Robert Cook said...
I see a gaggle of Yahoos are out in force this summer evening

Says the "October Surprise" and "9-11" Truther.

Too. Rich.

Cedarford said...

Jupiter said...
I don't see what everyone is so upset about. A bunch of made-up countries are falling apart, and a lot of really unpleasant people are killing each other. What's not to like? Let It Burn.

===============
Aside from rich speculators making a killing once again by jacking up oil prices.....you are pretty much on target!

Over a trillion dollars and 35,000 casualties invested by the US on behalf of the democracy-hungry purple fingered noble Freedom Lovers is essentially pissed away. As the Shiite people we installed and tried to legitimize with elections - who promptly purged the Sunni - are now melting away as new well-organized Sunni forces seek payback.

This is worse than Vietnam, where the corrupt S Vietnamese elites were not able to rally the population to fight the commies, few sons of the elites joined the military, and the commies won.
Then it was over!

The Sunni and Shia have been killing one another for over a millenia - it's what Muslims do when there are infidels handy to slaughter.

America go back in to "save the Noble Iraqis from Themselves!" and spend another trillion hand have both the Sunnis and Shia IED-ing us and sniping at us??
The people have spoken.
No way.
Let 'em die. Let 'em burn. If thats what Arabs want to do with their "Arab Spring".

And don't let Muslims mass-immigrate to N America or Europe. No more refugees, even if they end up getting slaughtered because they are stuck in their messed-up native lands and can't get a ticket to a safer and plusher refugee lifestyle.

Paul said...

"In Washington, President Obama expressed concern...."

And that says it all. Much like his concern for our Ambassador to Libya.

Much like his 'concern' for Afghanistan.

Much like his 'concern' for all the scandals from the VA to DOJ to ATF to IRS...

His next vacation is his real concern!

Seeing Red said...

The fundamental transformation of America speeds up.

Our Southern border it's open, anyone can come across.

Wait until the USD isn't the standard anymore.

Start reading The Belmont Club and Rantburg.

So does 6/11-12 have any historical Islamic significance?

Seeing Red said...

So the Benghazi terrorists were using SOS phones, Intel knew about it and did nothing? The narrative was a lie?

You wanted women to lead, now u got it, but look at the other players, hildebeast doesn't have what it takes.

$4 gas will look cheap! Can't burn coal, can't drill more, everything of value requires energy, well, this might cure the obesity problem. food prices to rise, good thing volatile gas &food isn't included in inflation.

I wonder if Barry learned about Iraq from the tv?

And now we can have some fun slamming him golfing while the CIA is skedaddling out of Baghdad. If our Afghan troops can't get relatively safe passage into Russia or Pakland....

Ahh I guess well just need drones?

tim in vermont said...

"Wouldn't magical thinking involve "winning" at some point?"

To quote the greatest movie of all time (at least for quotes), The Princess Bride: "You would think that, wouldn't you?"

But no, the magical result was going to be peace and harmony and love for America because the root cause of all war, America, would be out of the picture. The lion would lay down with the lamb, and tigers would eat strawberries for breakfast.

Terry said...

Bush convinced 80 Dems in the house of Reps and a majority of senate Democrats (including Clinton, Kerry, Edwards, and Schumer) that, post 9/11, rogue regimes like Sadam Hussein's Iraq could not be allowed to be rogue regimes. Read the goddam war resolution, HJR 114, October 2002. You will fine a long list of casus belli that are not related to the existence of Iraqi WMD. I am absolutely certain Cooke, for example, has not read this document, despite the fact he is absolutely certain a yes vote -- as cast by the past and current Obama administration Secretary of State -- was a terrible, awful, boneheaded mistake.
Now you Lefties don't give a damn if Iraq becomes a rogue nation, controlled by terrorists. Enjoy the world you have made, Lefties.

Terry said...

Obama, speaking at West Point, just two weeks ago:
"You are the first class to graduate since 9/11 who may not be sent into combat in Iraq or Afghanistan. (Applause.) When I first spoke at West Point in 2009, we still had more than 100,000 troops in Iraq. We were preparing to surge in Afghanistan. Our counterterrorism efforts were focused on al Qaeda’s core leadership -- those who had carried out the 9/11 attacks. And our nation was just beginning a long climb out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Four and a half years later, as you graduate, the landscape has changed. We have removed our troops from Iraq. We are winding down our war in Afghanistan. Al Qaeda’s leadership on the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan has been decimated, and Osama bin Laden is no more. (Applause.)"

William said...

Assad was said to have a stable regime in Syria. Right. Saddam's Iraq was held together by dried blood. It was not a stable regime any more than that of the Shah, Mubarak, Quaddaffi, or any other government in that neighborhood......Bush, Obama, whoever. We are dealing with people who sanctify suicide and murder. It will not end well no matter what we do.

Lyle said...

ISIS

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=699_1400360595

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfH-H3L_rQ0

There is a Holocaust going down in Iraq

Jupiter said...

"We are dealing with people who sanctify suicide and murder. It will not end well no matter what we do."

The Islamists are fond of saying that they love Death more than we love Life. It seems to me that this is a conflict more apparent than real. What is required is a policy that assures them of what they love. We will then content ourselves with what remains.

Michael K said...

"This is not a problem for the ISIL. Why so?"

If you are on the side of the ISIL, it is no problem. The Iraqi army could have been kept functional but it wasn't.

Skeptical Voter said...

As Lyndon Baines Johnson was wont to say, "Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's rain."

Where we stayed for a while after hostilities were over (South Korea, Japan, and Germany) economic miracles bloomed.

Where we did the bugout boogie--Viet Nam, Iraq and in a year or so Afghanistan, things went in the dumper.

But Obama is thinking about possibly expressing "concern", so there is that to be thankful for. And if we are really, really lucky, he might have someone in the State Department do some hashtag diplomacy--but that might be too aggressive a move.

Anonymous said...

Obama seems to be a great quartermaster for Al Quada.

About that Kurdistan, it's still landlocked and surrounded by states who want to destroy it. They will only be able to survive if they have a powerful sympathetic patron. I would suggest they learn chinese quickly.

"We are dealing with people who sanctify suicide and murder. It will not end well no matter what we do."
And yet the left and its fellow travellers idolize and empowers them and are totally prepared to be their quislings.

tim in vermont said...

" No more refugees, even if they end up getting slaughtered because they are stuck in their messed-up native lands and can't get a ticket to a safer and plusher refugee lifestyle" - Cedarford


I am sure he feels the same way about Mexican immigration. Or would, if they didn't vote so reliably Democrat.

Rusty said...


My biggest fear is that all this disintegration is ultimately threaten Israel. Then what do we do?


That depends.
if you're rational and conservative it's worrisome.
If you're a democrat
Win!!

Monkeyboy said...

In 2008 I spent some time in Ramadi working with the locals. Quite a number of who risked their lives to to make Iraq a better place all of whom had some horrific story about a freind or relative murdered by the regime.
Saying Iraq was "better" under Sadam is simply horrific, and shows a desire to consign others to death just to score some political points.

Drago said...

It's a good thing obama decimated Al Qaeda, otherwise this thing could get out of hand!